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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
An Entertaining Little B-Movie/Film-NoirApril 15 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
Having recently seen Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez' Grindhouse I was reminded of the look and feel of their little films while watching "Perversion Story." It's a B-movie that takes place in San Francisco, yet is in Italian (although there's an option to watch it in dubbed English); It has the music of a 1980's film-noir (i.e., "Body Heat"), but the look of a B-movie/early 70's porn. But it's actually a pretty interesting mystery story that's worth watching.
It's about a doctor named George DeMurrier, whose wife Susan suffers from asthma. Going on a "business trip" George leaves his wife in the company of a nurse...When he returns, Susan is dead and she has left him a $1 million dollar insurance policy that he had no idea about. As he comes to the realization that his wife is actually dead, he ends up at a stripclub (called the Roaring Twenties, how is that for cheesy?) where he sees a woman that looks exactly like her. Well, almost. This woman just has a different hair and eye color, but the resemblance is incredible. Intrigued, George begins having an affair with the woman, Monica, while the police begin investigating George into whether he had a little more to do with his wife's death than he lets on.
Despite it's shabby look and provocative title "Perversion Story" is actually a pretty tame and entertaining movie. The movie isn't rated, but it would be an 'R' for "Some Nudity." It's title is really just a ploy to get people to rent the movie (and let's face it, it works). It's not the best film ever made, but if you can look past the cheesy-ness of it, it's not bad.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
good thriller from fulciNov. 30 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
This is a interesting giallo thriller that is well done in every respect. There is some debate as to what a giallo is; but all a giallo has to be is a thriller , or a mystery film , it doesn't need black gloved killers or even one killing on screen. Those are the most popular but they really exploded onto the world in 1970 onward a year after this movie was made. The term is related to film noir directly and that's what this movie is in substance. So this is a giallo or thriller about a set up murder plot. And the films perfect jazz score adds alot of class to the precedings. Fulci frames each scene with the hand of a master cinetographer and the performances are top notch. This is a great B movie but it is no means a gory film that would predominate giallo thrillers in the 1970's in Italy. It has a good story and the nudity and title suggest a lurid flick but in fact it is similiar to many American film noir movies from the 1940's onward. Only there is some nudity and love scenes, these type of scenes would be scene frequently in American movies during the 1970's so this predates them as well. Severin films does everything right with this film , they remastered it and it looks awesome. Other companies need to learn from Severin on how to release a older movie with style and a excellent print. Too many old movies are put out in a shabby print that is almost unwatchable. I guage b movies on their own scale and this one is at the top of that scale for it's time period of the late sixties. So if you want a well made thriller with limited violence but a engaging murder plot then you will enjoy this flick from the late great director Lucio Fulci. However if you want a wilder ride then grab Fulci's giallo classic 'lizard in a woman's skin" . It was made a few years later and it shows how much cinema had opened up by then.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A neat little Fulci treatJuly 15 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
The plot: Jean Sorel stars as Dr. George Dumurrier, director of a failing medical clinic in San Francisco. When George's wife Susan dies under mysterious circumstances, leaving him beneficiary of a $1 million life insurance policy that will save his business, the insurance company on the hook for the payout places George under surveillance, and soon finds him in the company of Monica Weston, an exotic dancer who looks just like the late Mrs. Dumurrier. Suspecting fraud, the insurance company calls in the police, who come to believe George murdered his wife with Monica's help. As the cops doggedly gather enough evidence to send him to the gas chamber, George and his mistress Jane race to uncover the ties between Monica Weston and Susan Dumurrier.
The good: Alejandro Ulloa's superb cinematography provides an effective showcase for San Francisco circa 1968. Location work in New York and Paris grants the film a richer appearance than it's budget likely warrants. Riz Ortolani's score (included here on a separate CD) is terrific, with a swinging title theme and a poignant love theme that linger in the mind. Marisa Mell gives a witty performance as both the uptight Susan Dumurrier and the swinging Monica Weston. Elsa Martinelli as Jane looks fantastic--those eyes!--and dresses beautifully.
The not-so-good: Though effectively constructed to keep the audience guessing until the end--the last twenty minutes are particularly suspenseful--the plot makes little sense. (Warning: spoilers ahead!) When George, at an impromptu dinner date with his girlfriend, is summoned by an anonymous phone call to his first encounter with Monica, Jane asks him how the caller knew where he was, a question that's never answered. The murder could have been solved by a thorough investigation of Monica, but the police never bother to conduct one. (The film takes place over a year's time, so it's not like they were rushed.) Speaking of the police, the lead investigator makes an odd series of reversals: first he's convinced of George's guilt; then he tries desperately to find evidence to exonerate George; then he shrugs his shoulders and calls it a day. Why all these flip-flops? Beats me, and likely the scenarists as well.
Jean Sorel and Elsa Martinelli are uninvolving leads. Sorel often wears a pained expression that makes him look as though he's uncomfortably trying to pass gas, and the rest of the time appears ready for a nap. He does laugh though, once, which surprised me so much I had to rewind the scene to make sure I heard him right.
With tighter plotting and more compelling leads this could have been quite a gem. As it is, it's a diverting thriller, entertaining but not essential viewing.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"Perversion Story" Is A Great Mystery Thriller From Lucio FulciMay 13 2008
J. B. Hoyos
- Published on Amazon.com
Let me begin by saying that Lucio Fulci directed some awesome Italian gialli including "A Lizard in a Woman's Skin" and "Don't Torture a Duckling." "Perversion Story" is a great mystery thriller but it does not satisfy the definition of a giallo. There is no serial killer wearing black gloves and murdering beautiful women. There is only one death and her physician husband George (Jean Sorel of Fulci's "A Lizard in a Woman's Skin") is framed for her murder. Now George and his mistress must race against the clock to discover the true killer before he is executed in the gas chamber. Marisa Mell of Umberto Lenzi's "Seven Blood-Stained Orchids" is the amoral stripper who resembles George's dead wife.
This film has some great location shots of San Francisco, New York, and Paris, including the gas chamber of San Quentin prison itself. The actors are top notch. You can cut the suspense with a knife as the minutes literally tick away while poor George awaits execution. The plot is intricately woven. The script itself was written by Fulci.
I enjoyed "Perversion Story" much more than Fulci's gore fests such as "Zombie 2" and "The House by the Cemetery." The only gore was the decaying corpse of George's wife.
The DVD package from Severin was excellent. There are two discs. The first one contains both the English and Italian versions with optional English subtitles. (I always listen to the Italian version if English subtitles are available because that is how the film was meant to be watched.) The second disc contains some beautiful jazz music - eleven tracks of it - from Riz Ortolani ("The Pyjama Girl Case"). I listen to it in my car while driving to and from work.
Even though I feel that "Perversion Story" is not a true giallo, I am very glad I bought it. It deserves a place in the collection of anyone who is a fan of Italian directors such as Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento, Mario Bava, Sergio Martino, Umberto Lenzi, etc. "Perversion Story" has a lot of twists and an explosive ending that shocked me. Betrayal, deception, lust, and greed are all present in this one story. In essence, it is a true "Perversion Story" that will be difficult to forget. I highly recommend renting or buying it.
FILM PHREAK SPEAKS!March 3 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
REVIEW FROM FILMPHREAK.TUMBLR.COM PERVERSION STORY will be a surprise to horror fans of Lucio Fulci who go in unprepared. This film, aka ONE ON TOP OF THE OTHER, is an erotic thriller the maestro shot in 1969 before he turned his eye to ultraviolence and doom-laden horror. There was a segue, after this he would make such giallos as “Lizard in a Woman’s Skin” and “Don’t Torture A Duckling”, which were both violent, but not necessarily “horror”. Before long, he was making gems like “The Beyond,” “Zombie,” etc. But before all that there was this. PERVERSION STORY. The title is “sleazier” than the movie and despite the overt erotic content and generous, glorious nudity, the film’s real perversion is in the criminal plotting of the perpetrators in this picture. Who they are and what they did I can speak little of without giving away too much. I’ll tell you this: A doctor is in a marriage of love, not hate. He’s devoted to his clinic, not his wife. He hires a pretty nurse to take care of his wife. He’s got a pretty photographer friend who shoots pretty nude models. There is not trouble in paradise so much as there is no paradise. But when his wife ends up dead of an overdose due to a seeming medicine mistake, questions arise. More pop up when, after his wife’s death, the doc finds out there is a $2 million life insurance policy naming him as the beneficiary. But the mysteries really shift into high gear after the doctor gets a tip to visit an exotic dancing club where he encounters a sexy stripper who is the spitting image of his wife - except for eye and hair color. As the complex and riveting story unfolds, untold possibilities come to the viewer’s mind. And while the viewer tries to sort it all out, he/she is treated to swinging stylishness - nothing less than we’d expect from this most stylish auteur. Plus, there’s a terrific jazz score by none other than Riz Ortolani, who composed the score for “Cannibal Holocaust.” While Fulci might later venture into non-linearity and surreality, here, while the swirl of apparent impossibilities tornado around the viewer and the movie’s central character makes for a surreal experience, the plot is strong and complex. The suspense induces breath-holding as the doctor heads for the gas chamber and a seemingly unravelable Gordian knot repels viewer attempts to solve the mystery. It’s a top notcher for Fulci, especially if you’re willing to forget about his horror endeavors and stretch your idea of what the great director was capable of as a filmmaker. More than you might think.